Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

RE: [Icehouse] Volity Treehouse (and other games)

  • From"Christopher Hickman" <tophu@xxxxxxx>
  • DateFri, 10 Feb 2006 11:44:58 -0500
This was the first time I checked out Volity.  It's Frickin' Sweet! 

-----Original Message-----
From: icehouse-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:icehouse-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Andrew Plotkin
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2006 5:30 PM
To: Icehouse Discussion List
Subject: [Icehouse] Volity Treehouse (and other games)

When Andy tossed up the Treehouse rules a couple of weeks ago, I figured 
it would make a good test for Volity. (We want to be a good platform for 
rapid game development, right? Treehouse is rapid. :)

So I started working on Volity Treehouse.

Then Andy started changing the rules on a daily -- then hourly -- basis. 
Heh. Fortunately, I'd been delayed by a bunch of annoying memory leaks. 
(Not Treehouse-related; just general bugs in our Java code.) So he wasn't 
actually changing the rules out from under me; just slightly ahead of me.

I now have a working draft of the game. You're all welcome to try it.

We also have drafts of Fluxx, Aquarius, Barsoomite Go, and Space Station 
Assault. (SSA is a (non-Looney-related) card game -- published by Your 
Move Games in Boston.) And tic-tac-toe, if you're interested. Rock Paper 
Scissors is currently offline for renovation.

You start any of these games the same way: download our game client 
program, Javolin. This is a Java app, so it should run on anything. 
(Windows and Linux users may have to install Java first. Macs come with 
Java.) Once you have Javolin, you can register an account on our system 
and browse the list of games.

Full instructions are at <http://volity.org/betatesting.html>. Follow 
links from there.

Feel free to leave feedback on any of the games, or the client itself. 
Yes, we're aware that the client has lots of rough corners, and in fact 
lots of completely missing corners. :)

I note that Treehouse is set up to allow solitaire play -- I found that it 
was entertaining that way, so I left it in. Your other options for solo 
play are Fluxx and Barsoomite Go, both of which have robot players 
available. (Albeit *very stupid* robot players.) All the games support 
multi-player play -- that's the real point of Volity, after all.

How well did the "rapid development" go? Pretty well. I spent two or three 
days on the server-side code for Treehouse, and about five on the user 
interface. (Treehouse is actually quite complex, UI-wise, since the six 
moves require six completely different kinds of controls.)

At this point I'm confident that most Icehouse-style games can be 
implemented in Volity in one to two weeks. A game like Aquarius takes 
no longer to code, but then you have to draw all the cards. Fluxx and 
Zarcana are a pain for both coding *and* art -- no surprise there.


"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
If the Bush administration hasn't shipped you to Syria for interrogation,
for one reason: they don't feel like it. Not because of the Eighth
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